tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC October 6, 2012 9:00am-11:00am PDT
hello, everyone. it is high noon in the east. 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." big trends of this hour, stand by your tweet. that was fast. on the rise. fans calling foul. and stunning stunt. details on all those stories throughout this hour. but first. we have 31 days until election day. there's big news on fundraising and this hour. president obama and the democrats raised $181 million in september. that is the highest election monthly total so far. meanwhile the romney camp claims it has collected more than $12 million in online donations and seeing bigger crowds on the campaign trail since wednesday's debate. but these numbers are still seizing the headlines according to conspiracy theories. jobless rate down to 7.8%, the lowest since the president took office. total employment increased 872,000.
that's the biggest jump in the monthly number since june 1983. both candidates weighed in on the numbers. let's take a listen. >> we have learned that the unemployment rate is now at its lowest level since i took office. more americans are entering the work force. more americans are getting jobs. but too many of our friends and neighbors are still looking for work or struggling to pay the bills. many of them since long before this crisis hit. we owe it to them to keep moving forward. we've come too far to turn back now. >> do you realize that the number of people in america that participation of our adults in the workforce were the same as at the time he got elected why our unemployment rate would be about 11%. people in this country are having a hard time finding a job. people in this country are having a hard time making ends meet even if they do have a job. meanwhile the new data sparked a political firestorm. conspiracy theorists who openly suggested the white house manipulated the numbers.
forward ceo jack welch led the crowd with this tweet "unbelievable jobs numbers. these chicago guys will do anything can't debate so change numbers". he refused to back down on last night's msnbc. >> i have no evidence to prove that. i just raised the question. >> you didn't raise the question. you said these chicago guys will do anything so they change the numbers. you want to take that back? >> this is an assertion. >> jimmying with these numbers. corruption here. infiltration or getting to -- it's not funnies jack. you're talking about the president of the united states playing with the bureau of labor statistics numbers. this is mixing stuff. do you want to take back the charge here? >> i don't want to take back one word in that tweet. >> oh, this is good. what's the word from the white house folks today on these jobs numbers? are they being cautious about them at all? >> you heard the president be cautious. the president and his advisers
and everybody on down the line is going to be very quick to add that there are millions of people in this country who are out of work, looking for work, who can't find work or working part-time when they really want to be working full time or simply have grown so frustrated they've quit looking for work all together. alex every first friday of every month there's this painful jobs report. the white house tries not to be too optimistic. one more of these reports before election day. i think the president was a little bit out further over the ski tips than he has been in past months as the reports come down the line. it was a dramatic jump relatively speaking to all these others. .3%. that's a lot. households reported a lot of new jobs as far as that side of the equation is concerned. so the white house obviously very pleased. but there is an element of being cautious when the president reacted to it. no question about it >> yes. let's see a little more of jack welch's appearance on "hardball" last night. listen to me.
>> do you mean it's a coincidence or do you mean you have evidence that there is corruption? >> i have no evidence of corruption. none whatsoever. >> okay. so these chicago guys had nothing to do with the numbers. >> i don't know that. >> why did you say that in your tweet? you stand behind this tweet? >> i want to raise the question of these numbers -- >> you do raise the question. >> these numbers defy logic. they defy logic. >> what's the white house doing with this, michael? are they staying away from it? >> they call it utter nonsense. that was the quote of press secretary briefing aboard air force one yesterday. basically, alex, you have jack welch along with a sometimes controversial congressman from south florida, allan west. and now evidently steve forbes, a former presidential candidate tweeting his endorsement of jack welch. then against almost everybody else in this town, a former economist on here, jared bernstein, said jack welch ought
to be ashamed of himself. a former republican white house official also endorsed the integrity of the people who put these numbers together at the bureau of labor statistics. so jack welch and a couple of other people on an island on this one. really an inflammatory attack with no evidence to back it up. >> mike viqueira at the white house, thanks so much. for reaction to that i'm joined by susan page, "usa today" and david nakamura, "washington post." good day to both of you. this is fascinating. susan, first of all, how much does this employment number blunt mitt romney's debate momentum? and do you think the white house is going phew, relieved at this? >> if not popping champagne bottles. two-ways in which this number was so useful to the white house yesterday. it got the unemployment rate below 8% which has been kind of a line of demarkation. the romney folks have made a big deal about it being above 8% for
so many months all through president obama's tenure. the other thing is the timing. i mean, all the reviews from the debate has been so negative for president obama. and this just automatically changed the subject. at 8:30 yesterday morning we stopped talk thing about the debates and started talking about improvement in the jobless numbers >> yes. david with respect to the conspiracy theorists out there, mitt romney is not latched onto all threat rick. but could all this talk, this talk, could it damage him in the long run? i mean, in some ways all it does is just highlight the fact we're talking below 8%. >> absolutely, alex. i think that the romney campaign didn't respond to that because they don't want to be anywhere near it. even some conservatives quickly denounced those remarks, that tweet by jack welch. and i think that frankly for the obama administration those people who believe jack welch are not going to vote for president obama, anyway. and i think actually it's probably going to go away fairly quickly just because the romney
campaign doesn't want to really touch this. >> the fact that he has to talking about mitt romney has to drop his line about the 8 plus percent from his campaign speeches, how much does that hurt him? >> as i said, he's been saying 8%. the president has been promising 8%. he hasn't delivered. that's one of the main attacks governor romney has been using, he's been bringing up that number repeatedly on the campaign trail. yesterday what you saw was the governor sort of switched and talking about 11% number which is the number if everybody was still looking -- the amount of people still looking for jobs from 2008 were looking now it would would be 11. he's going to say we haven't done enough. president obama acknowledged that in his remarks saying what we've been doing month after month, we're making headway, adding jobs each month but we haven't done enough. >> susan, back to wednesday night here. there's a new report on the president's assessment of his own doe bait performance. here's what glen thrush writes in politico "at first obama
didn't think his performance was a complete disaster. but he began seriously mourning by watching excerpts of his own tentative grim demeanor especial which when he and a more relaxed mitt romney were shown in split screen. it was worse than he thought." this according to one person. >> alex, this is the fifth administration i've covered. essentially there are two-ways to convince the president that he's done something that he's really messed up something. one is to have his wife tell him. that's why nancy reagan and hillary clinton and others have been willing to do. the other is to show him the picture. whether it's after a news conference where the answer has been boggled or after a debate like this. it's hard to deliver bad news to the president. it's hard for the president not to believe his own eyes. >> let's get to david what mitt romney said the day after the debate about his 47% line. here it is. >> clearly in a campaign with
hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question and answer sessions, now and then you're going to say something that doesn't come out right. in this case i said something that's completely wrong. this whole campaign is about the 100%. >> okay. here's a two-part question. first part to you, ed. was this going to be his answer had he gotten a chance in the debate but he didn't get that chance so he had to trot this out in the first post-debate interview? >> yes. i think he was. i think he probably was going to be ready with that response. that was a really damaging comment on that hidden video about the 47%. the obama campaign has really been pounding him. i think he wanted to sort of address it. this is the way to do that so he can move on. the other thing i think this plays a little bit into the obama's campaign's approach which is to say he's all over the map. he says one thing, he says another thing. they already hit him on a couple of other remarks from the debate on that line. i think they're going to say he's willing to say anything to get elected. >> susan, here's the second part of the question.
all about the ultimate strategy in trying to outthink everybody. do you think the obama camp knew romney would be ready with the 47% answer so they didn't give him a chance to clear that up? >> i've heard people speculate about that, a master strategy. up maybe so. although i've got to say the president's debate performance on wednesday night did not seem to reflect a lot of shrewd strategic thinking beforehand but who knows? >> well, if anybody knew would know you would. i'm going to leave it up in the who knows category? susan, david, thanks so much both of you. check out first reed on msnbc.com for news and analysis from our politico unit. what if we fall off the cliff, the fiscal one, it will cause -- cost a lot of cash. new numbers just in time for hallowe'en scary. also ahead, frightening figures at the gas pumps. staggering battle against rising
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color lock technology. exclusively from your benjamin moore retailer. find your perfect color with a buy one, get one pint offer. visit benjaminmoore.com/promo. it's a nice day outside here at 30 rock. new today a dramatic jump in california gas prices while residents were sleeping the state-wide average is now $4.61 which is an all-time high for the state. the price jumped 12 cents overnight. near los angeles lines of cars snaked through this gas station spilling out onto the street there. drivers were flocking to stations selling gas below the state average. many stations shut down this week after running out of fuel.
an independent stations say they can barely break even. drivers say they can't believe the price. >> even this little car, it's still like 45 bucks to fill up. yeah. 5 bucks? oh, my god yeah. >> it's just crazy. i just pumped gas. i feel ripped off. >> experts blame the shortage on supply line problems including a fire at a major refinery as well as a power outage as another. the skyrocketing gas prices are dominating headlines in california but there are other stories figuring prominently in newspapers out west. like this one from the "daily news" in the bay area "apple fans mark the first year without steve jobs." apple devotees have set up a makeshift memorial outside a store in palo alto to remember jobs who died one year ago. from "durango herald." "michelle obama which is visit
durango. she's expected to promote early voting there which begins in a couple of weeks. from extreme eastern washington state the front page of the "moscow-pullman daily news" about how homecoming is crucial to the town of moscow idaho and the president of washington state university recommending tuition rates should not rise higher than the rate of inflation. now to our weekend weather. folks in colorado dealing with the first touch of the white stuff. not much accumulation but frigid with lows falling into the 20s. nbc meteorologist stephanie abrams has news about the rest of the country. >> big changes across a big chunk of the country. there's a solid cold front. we have that rain and clouds right now extending anywhere from the northeast all the way back down to the south.
that is the weathermaker. ahead of that, warm temperatures. behind it cold temperatures. take a quick screen grab of that. as i change the graphic you're going to see those temperatures in the 60s all the way up to boston. do you see the 30s in chicago, minneapolis, down into kansas city, spreading south and spreading east as well. when do they get into the i-95 corridor and down into the south? it looks like into the day tomorrow. by the way check out dallas at 54 degrees. and our high is only 55. we see near 80 degrees in the washington. mid 70s new york and boston today. atlanta at 81 degrees. but again that, cold air is going to make its way in as we head into the second half of the weekend. ayayay. there are the 50s for you. boston down into d.c. and atlanta 67 degrees for a high for you. alex, back to you. >> thanks, steph.
governor romney plans to let wall street run wild again. but he's going to bring down the hammer on "sesame street." it makes perfect sense. >> oh, well, president obama on the campaign trail seizing upon mitt romney's budget-cutting comments that could threaten tv's most popular bird. here's what mr. romney had said. >> i'm sorry, jim, i'm going to stop the subsidy to pbs. i'm going to stop other things. i like pbs. i love big bird. i actually like you, too. but i'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from china to pay for. >> it prompted a plurry of internet activity supporting big bird and the public broadcasting system. what's the truth? could big bird going bye bye? joining us now a reporter from the christian science monitor. good morning. >> good morning. >> are big bird and pbs really in any danger here? >> i don't think big bird's had things this good in awhile. he's huge on twitter now. his twitter presence increased like 800,000%. and the thing about big bird and
"sesame street," they have so much outside funding that it's not like "sesame street" is going to disappear. pbs, though, that subsidy, it's a sizeable chunk of their budget. it would be a big blow. >> about how much? do you have a perspective on how much that is? how much the government chips in? >> it fluctuates year to year. it's about 10 to 15%. in 2011 about 12% of pbs's budget funneled through the corporation of public broadcasting. came from the government subsidy. >> pbs has released a statement accusing governor romney of making pbs a political target and of not understanding the value of the american people place in public broadcasting. how do americans generally view public broadcasting? and its funding? >> i mean, people are generally very favorable of it. pbs did a study last year where 69% of people were in favor of keeping the public broadcasting funding. and that was across party lines, even conservatives favored keeping it to the tune of i
think 53%. so it's something people like. and the thing is, it's such a small part of the federal budget. it's less than .01%. with trillion of dollars that's hard for us to figure out. but if you put that in say i made $40,000 a year. that would be about 56 cents out of my annual budget. public broadcasting. >> that's putting it in perspective there. the ceo of pbs, paula kerger points out that federal funding for public broadcasting has been cut 13% just in the past two years. have we felt an impact from that? >> yes, in the places that are going to see more of an impact of that are going to be the local stations. it's not going to be the big market. if the subsidies were cut or phased out over the next three years as congress is wanting to do, some of those stations would go dark. ironically those are some of the places that need that free access to educational
programming the most. >> all right, thank you very much. good to talk to you. coming up office politics and changing social security. former governor christie child whitman explore the options. also ahead fan fury. a blown call sends players running for cover. first number five in our top five web stories, master illusionist david blaine has begun a 72-hour stunt in new york city. he is standing in a constant stream of electrical currents. we're talking about 1 million volts. he began his electrifying experience last night. the only thing keeping blaine from getting fried is his chain mail body suit. he said it's like somebody punching you as hard as they can in the back of your head. why is he doing this? ah. fire bad! just have to fire roast these tomatoes.
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landing on fans down in the seats close to the field. >> wow. >> yikes! that's the scene from number four of our top five trending stories. it happened in atlanta last night. fans were outraged from a controversial call in the first game of the playoffs. a 20-minute delay in the game. that call cost the braves a chance at loading the bases laid in the game, then went on to lose game one in the playoffs. we're talking about the mlb, not the nfl, remember. anyway, thanks to the ipad and what not, apple's top list of number one all the hullabaloo over the maps app on apple i5. analysis by forbes calculates the apple brand is worth just over $87 billion. first place again on the new forbes list. microsoft 55 million nearly, coca-cola third.
the washington, d.c. area tops the new list of the richest cities in america based on rankings of median household income. san jose california comment in second with $84,000 incomes. bridgeport, connecticut metro area is third, $77,000 a piece there. no. absolutely not. >> told you he'd take it well. >> no. if you think i'm going to let everyone risk their lives for me. >> harry potter certainly brought fortune and fame to j. k. rowling what with all the books and movies. now she's making a new name for herself. her first novel for adults now rates the top usa's today's top seller list. gangnam style video leads youtube 100.
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welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." at the half hour critical headlines. campaign is out with new duelling ads today. >> this was dishonest. >> i'm not in favor of the $5 trillion tax cut. >> romney is being dishonest here, too. according to an independent non-profit study, barack obama and liberals will raise taxes on the middle class. >> the ad is airing in eight swing states including florida and ohio. meanwhile the romney campaign ad makes a strong push to capture the woman's vote. >> in 2008, i voted for barack obama. he doesn't have my vote this
time. being a woman you think about your future and your children. what i want to think about is a future that has jobs. >> the ad goes on to say the economy is important to women. >> a victory for the obama campaign on early voting in ohio. a federal appeals court in the buckeye state just reinstated early voting on the three final days before election day. the ruling means that people in the key battle ground state can continue to cast their ballots. depending on the decision of the local border of elections that is. the obama camp filed that lawsuit arguing that everyone should have a chance to vote on those days. >> and the early voting is now under way in florida. absentee ballots are in the mail. yesterday miami-dade county mailed out 170,000 ballots. officials say voting by mail has exploded. in fact more than half of voters cast their ballots by mail or during early voting in the last general election. in today's strategy talk, september jobs report came out just in the nick of time for president obama after this week's tough debate performance.
but the honeymoon only lasted five minutes before a tweet by former g.e. ceo jack welch sparked accusations of a conspiracy theory. joining me is former dse communications director and msnbc political analyst and publisher of mullings.com. >> it is a big improvement. is there a down side if the president and his advisers appear too relieved or the fact that it's under 8, that's a win? >> yeah. i think the president and the white house actually did a good job of -- they have all along making the point that let's keep this in context. it's good news because it's moving in the right direction. the other thing about the 7.8 number that i think is the most important is that number and the number of jobs created was in addition to about 418,000 more people actually re-entering the job market. so point being in the past
sometimes we've had some good numbers because in part some people weren't looking for work anymore. so i think that's actually -- so there are a number of positives. but i think the president has been very realistic all along. it's really a shame to how fast jack welch and others came out to disparage the numbers when -- this is a good thing for the country. it should not be so linked to politics. >> can i ask you that, kieran? is the president the luckiest man in the world for this to come out on the heels of his lousy debate performance? was he born under a lucky star? >> we would be having a very different conversation if the numbers hadn't really changed. hard to gauge. there was always the possibility that with the friday job numbers it was either going to help feed into whatever momentum romney had coming out of the debate or blunt that which is part of what i think has happened here. but i think the pressure is still on for the president going into the next debate. it was not a great debate
performance. but i'm not one of these the sky is falling democrats. so i think it's fine. >> yeah. all right. well, curious, rich, do you think mitt romney is going to push these conspiracy theories or do you think it's too out there to touch? >> no. this is washington, d.c. we make $86,000 a year or whatever that number was. the last really good secret that has been kept in washington was the manhattan project. i mean, everybody from the lowliest intern on capitol hill to the secretary of state has got reporters on their speed dial on their cell phones. so for that to be the case you would have to have a conspiracy within the bls, bureau of labor staffs and hope that nobody talked. that's just not possible. >> according to the president's opponents, rich, when the job number is bad it's because he's a failure. when they're good it's because he's a fraud. i mean, how does this not make them look just petty? >> i don't know that everybody's saying that.
two people they know of said it. look, i agree with karen. good news is good news. the way you deal with this is to turn it on its head. if the president had had a great debate performance and romney had fallen on his face, everybody would have said great for obama bad for -- the fact it didn't happen you have to give credit where credit due. in this case, if unemployment had gone up .3% republicans would have been going see? it is good news for the economy and the people. another thing, i think karen actually taught me this. if you have to explain the numbers by saying well two-thirds of those were people that got part-time jobs, by the time you finish explaining you've lost the argument. just smile, nod, and move onto another subject. >> karen, how much is the president looking to joe biden to continue come thursday, continue now that the tide has turned on the heels of wednesday? he's got to put in a performance if he wants to keep this thing moving forward and upward >> yes. a couple of things with the
thursday debate. i mean, number one, earlier this week when people were oh, about the president's performance. the fact we've got biden's going to be great. if nothing else i guarantee you it will be very entertaining to watch joe biden and paul ryan. and there again, i think there is an opportunity to -- i think romney's gotten some deserved momentum out of -- he had a very strong performance. he's gotten a momentum. i think his campaign is trying to figure out how to keep that momentum going into next week. the debate might be where that momentum is blunted a little bit. joe biden is going to say look, paul, how much time do you need? here's a white board. here's a pen. how much time do you need to do the math? we're here for you. let's work it out. >> hey rich, how much in terms of paul ryan, how much do you think is resting on his shoulders? how do you think he's going to fare against joe biden? he's a lot younger, doesn't have as much debate experience.
>> that's not true. they're both members of congress. they have a lot of debate -- that's what you do in congress whether it's in committee or on the floor. i think they will both be more skilled, frankly, than either of the two presidential candidates who did not have that kind of a background. so i'm not sure that they don't know how to do it. >> here's the difference, though, with all due respect. there's a big difference. we have 67 million people watching on wednesday night. we're going to have millions of people watching certainly on thursday night. that's a lot different than watching c-span coverage in congress of the floor, you know? >> but you don't stand behind a podium and see 68 million people. you stand behind the podium and see who's in the hall and the guy standing next to you. i don't think that matters at all. >> it is a little bit different in the sense that generally debate on the floor is a much more civilized i guess you might say in that you say what you're going to say and the next person says what they're going to say. there's not that sort of direct interaction. >> you've been in the house recently in the last 16 years, right?
>> i think the interaction between biden and paul ryan i think will be as interesting as the answers themselves because again as we learned from this debate, so much of what how people are sort of judging how they feel about the debate itself comes from that physical appearance. how do they treat each other? what are the mannerisms? are they looking at each other? are they glaring at each other? and that is a little -- it does get tough on the house floor. that's true. but i think it will be a little different the two of them mano a mano willing interest. >> the theory of the debate by the obama team will be completely different than whatever theory they were operating on last wednesday. >> i was going to ask. do you think, karen, the president is going to more face mitt romney instead of looking down so much and taking notes as he did on that two-shot? >> here's the thing. the next debate is the town hall format. so i think it's less about the of them engaging each other but making sure they are engaging the person asking the question. i think so much of what the
americans are going to be looking for in that debate, when you see a person who looks like you or looks like someone you know asking a question of somebody who wants your vote, if you feel they weren't treated with respect or given a solid answer, that's going to influence how you feel about that person. that's going to be as important i think for both men in terms of how they game out their strategy for that debate. >> okay. karen finny, rich galen, good to see you both. we have been asking you all day if the huge decline in the jobless rate is the real october surprise. here are some of your tweets. politicques replies "gop can spin jobs report any way they like. fact is we were losing 750,000 jobs when president obama took office because of gop policies. "a drop from 8.1% to 7.8% is not huge. when did the change of .3% become huge? finally elaine mills added "7.8% number is receipt real.
go obama 2012." i'll be reading your tweets later on. @lakeswit. former new jersey governor christie todd whitman. i asked her why mitt romney is viewed as being unable to connect with voters. >> i think part of it is the process that we have in place now with the two parties, the nominating process forces them to the right and to the left. because you're only looking at the base in your party. so you're appealing to a small group of people. and in order to get what has now become the republican base, he's been put in the position of which i don't think he's entirely comfortable. you can change your position. but so many things have changed in a fairly short period of time that i think people aren't quite sure. the far right doesn't think he's conservative enough. the moderates are unsure of where he's going to be as a president. is he going to be the massachusetts governor or is he
going to be the person that they heard during the debates? and those are not necessarily the same people for him. >> can anybody effectively govern from anywhere but the middle? >> well, i don't think so. not effectively. you could say sure if you control both houses of congress and you get along with your party, you don't always do that just because they're your own members. you're not always on the same page all the time. then you could force things through. but that doesn't usually end up with very good legislation. and not a very good feeling. and it's not something that's going to last. you're far better off if you look at our legacy, all the major pieces of history of our governance of things that have really stood the test of time were bills that were passed by congress from the hands of one party and signed by a president of the other party. >> at this point, what do you think governor romney has to do to attract independent votes? >> i think he has to be himself. i think he has to really double down on what's happened with the
economy over the last few years and what he is going to do specifically to make it better. i mean, the american people aren't dumb. we are -- i must say we all complain and we want to see the deficit addressed but don't touch my program. however, if romney as a presidential candidate or as president stood up and said look we're going to have to discuss social security. what we're going to do we're not going to touch -- he has said this. not going to touch anybody who is currently receiving social security or those who are about to come in in the next year or so. but if you look the 48-year-old you won't be able to collect social security until you're 70 but you can get it then most will say that's a good deal. i didn't think i would get anything now. pundits say you never want to educate the voter at the last minute which makes it tough for him. i do think he has to be very
strong as to what he is going to do, that these are serious issues that that his experience he shouldn't run away from his experience with bain. he should say look were some jobs outsourced yes, but they were going, any way. >> as governor of the state, a wife, a mom. talk about a role model. >> when i started out the kids were little and i wasn't economically in a position where i had to work full time. so i was able to work at the job. i made it virtually full time my first elected office but i was always able to get home and pick up the kid or do play date when it was my turn to do play date, that kind of thing. and as they got older i was able to take on more and more and had more of a full-time job. >> did you ever have to do play dates or events or parties as a mom or a wife while you were governor? >> they were older then. but i certainly had to go up to school for events. >> how about grandma?
>> that's the best role of all. there are two things told me about being a grandparent. one is it's one of the few things in life which is not overrated. which is absolutely true. a fellow next to me leaned over and said you love your children but you're love with your grandchildren. that is a very good definition of it. i adore my grand sons. >> i'll bet they adore her back. tomorrow governor whitman shares her thoughts on the effects of the tea party and something she shares in common to ronald reagan. hold onto your wallets. there could be a staggering amount of money coming right out of your pocket if the government doesn't avoid that fiscal cliff. we're going to talk about it and show you the numbers next.
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well, i don't know about that song you were listening to. it's time to brace yourself for some sobering numbers. ready? here goes. 90% of americans will see their federal taxes go up next year if the u.s. goes over the so-called fiscal cliff. a new study from the tax policy center finds that the average taxpayer will pay $3500 more next year and middle-income households will pay $2,000 more. that all adds up to about half a trillion dollars going to uncle sam. lori montgomery from "the "washington post"" welcome. >> thanks for having me. >> we're going to look at who pace what based on the article you wrote here. those making the least will see their taxes go up boy 3.7%. middle income earners will pay 3.8%. top,ers 5.8% and top 1% will see
their taxes rise 7.2%. what programs are causing these hikes? >> if you're at the very bottom of the income level you're getting hit by the hardest the various tax increases included in the fiscal cliff is the end of the payroll tax holiday, which president obama got through in 2010, and the tax cuts that were included in the 2009 economic stimulus package. people talk about that as spending but it also included a lot of refundable tax credits that expanded the ability of lower income people to take advantage of the child credit and the earned income tax credit. it expanded the college tuition credit. at the top of the income spectrum and really through the middle it's the bush tax cuts. you're losing cuts on income, losing cuts on capital gains and dividends. and the whole spectrum. there are also new taxes going into effect as part of the cliff from the health care law. so it's a whole potpourri of
stuff that's whacking you. >> not only the amounts but now how you make your money, right? wages and interest income, that goes up about 5%. capital gains goes up 7%. dividends that goes up 20%. so this is going to discourage people from investing in the markets if are going to be taxed like all this? >> i don't know. there is an argument that people could be discouraged from vesting. that's an argument that republicans are making. but there's also an argument you could see a huge pullout from the market as people try to take advantage of the lower rates before they go up. so i think the scarier part of it is, do people just sell in december and november anticipating that they'd better take their profits now when they can get the lower rate. >> can i ask you, why didn't congress stick around to try to get this worked out? >> they can't. that's what the election is about. while we're talking about the fiscal cliff, i prefer the more
evocative term taxmageddon. we're having the election debate about what do we do instead of these things? that's what you're seeing play out in the presidential campaign and house and senate races. democrats want to replace these increases by taxing rich people. republicans want to replace these increases by doing tax reform. >> in terms of this congress, okay, maybe the next month or so they'll be out doing re-election campaigns and all that, but this is the congress that's going to have to deal with this before january 2nd. >> that's right. that's right. but until they know who is in the white house, who has the leverage, the political leverage, who is in control of the senate, is the house majority republican majority is it still republican, is it larger, is it smaller, until we know sort of what the voters -- how it shakes out with the voters, we can't really move forward. >> do you get a sense, lori, that had the democrats also controlled the house we would have gotten this settled?
>> well, the democrats did control the house in 2010, the last time the bush tax cuts expired and they kicked the can down the road for two years. so the question is, we sort of have had this debate before. we've been having this debate for years, frankly. the last time the democrats were in control of everything the white house, the senate, the house, they didn't really have the guts to let taxes go up. so we'll see. >> yeah, we'll see. to that end i'm going to ask you. predict whether we're going to go over this cliff. give me like a 50-50 chance better, less, what do you think? >> i predict that my new year's eve will be brilliant no matter what. that's as far as that goes. >> somehow i don't doubt it. i'm going to send my apologies right now, lori montgomery. thank you very much. still ahead the tv ad war. which candidate is running twice as many campaign ads. you're watching "weekends with alex witt." this is america.
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and new threats by terrorism, traditional u.s. civil defense is involved in the protections of emergency management and homeland security. coming up, celebrity endorsements. do they really make a difference to voters? a new poll has the answer. and if pollsters are correct, michele bachmann could be in danger of losing her job. we'll meet the man who's trying to unseat her. we break out new behr ultra with stain-blocker from the home depot... ...the best selling paint and primer in one that now eliminates stains. so it paints over stained surfaces, scuffed surfaces, just about any surface. what do you say we go where no paint has gone before, and end up some place beautiful. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. behr ultra. now with advanced stain blocking, only at the home depot, and only $31.98 a gallon.
♪ or help doctors turn billions of bytes of shared information... ♪ into a fifth anniversary of remission? ♪ whatever your business challenge, dell has the technology and services to help you solve it. good day to all of you. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." 1:00 on the east coast, 10:00 a.m. out west. 31 days until the presidential election. it's a tale of two coats. president obama heads to california tomorrow expected to tout the new jobs numbers. mitt romney is in florida today holding a rally in a matter of hours in that battle ground state as he refines his message on the employment picture. and some big fundraising numbers out today. president obama and the democrats raised $181 million in september. that's the highest monthly
re-election total so far. also today, the romney camp claims it has collected more than $12 million in online donations and seeing bigger crowds on the campaign trail since wednesday's debate. meanwhile about those jobs numbers, it is a figure splashed across the front page of most of the papers that hit your doorstep or driveways today. 7.8% below the critical 8% level. that number falling .2% from last month to the lowest level of the president's time in office spurred a conspiracy theory started in large part by former g.e. ceo jack welch who questioned the integrity of the number in a tweet. he then went on msnbc's "hardball" and refused to back down. >> do you mean it's a coincidence, or do you mean you have evidence that there was corruption? >> i have no evidence to corruption. none whatsoever. >> okay. so these chicago guys had nothing to do with the number? >> i don't know that. >> why did you say it?" these chicago guys will do anything, they'll change the
numbers." you just said it in your tweet. >> i want to raise the question of these numbers. >> you do raise the question. >> because these numbers defy logic. they defy logic. >> this morning i spoke to vice president joe biden's former chief economist jared bernstein. >> there is virtually no contact between the white house and the bureau of labor statistics on any matters that have to do with data integrity. you don't know how tight these data lockdowns are. and there's dozens of people involved who all have highest security ratings, encrypted data. i mean, the jan tors are not allowed to empty the waste baskets there until after the reports come out. >> joining me reid wilson national journalist hotline editor in chief. >> it seems the key question this weekend, reid, which has more significance, more staying power, is the perceived romney debate win or the new jobs
numbers. which is it that's got the staying power? >> well, look, i think both candidates are taking these victories in sort of different measure. first of all, mitt romney had an immediate challenge. he needed to reverse the sort of the hardening conventional wisdom that he was going to have a real problem winning this election, that he was on the verge of a historic loss. he did that. he sort of assuaged all those doubts right after in this debate with a good performance. he was able to sort of get a little bit of momentum. he solved that immediate problem. but president obama's immediate problem or sort of long-term problem has always been the economy. if the economy is going poorly, if americans think we're headed in the wrong direction then he's not going to win re-election. this has been a long, steady slog towards the 7.8% number. so the long-term problem is something that president obama solved, too. i think at the end of the day the economics are going to matter a lot more than a debate performance nobody remembers john kerry beat up george w. bush in the first debate back if 2004. but it was clear that mitt
romney got a big win because of his strong debate performance. >> or walter mondale on ronald reagan for that matter. onto the conspiracy theory, jared bernstein, we heard from him earlier, he told me also this doesn't deserve any oxygen at all but others keep piling on. are you surprised by these claims from prominent people, well-respected people in industry? >> well, there are two different sort of sets on the republican side here. one is the jack welch side, the steve forbes, the people who are promulgating this conspiracy. the others are the folks who are serious economists. you talk to jared bernstein on the left. but douglashall john mccain's former policy adviser says the same thing in a story this morning. elaine child the former george w. bush's labor secretary said the same thing. so serious republicans who understand that these are two totally different surveys, they sort of understand the process and the way bls works there's not really a conspiracy here. >> can i ask you?
you've been around d.c. for a long time. has anyone ever questioned this number, any reason to be suspicious of the integrity of it? >> i don't think so. you heard what jared said earlier. you heard what all the other folks say. i love that little line that jared had that they don't let the jan tors take out the garbage until after the numbers are released. it's funny. remember last month when the rather weak unemployment numbers came out, president obama knew them, knew what the numbers would be when he was giving a speech at the democratic convention because the president gets to know the day before when his council of economic advisers chairman takes a piece of paper over and tells him. he knew those numbers when he was giving that big speech. he knew the next morning he'd have to contend with a bad number. even that didn't leak. >> yeah. how about the fundraising numbers? how big is $181 million for just the month of september? does that put the president ahead of mr. romney significantly? >> it is really really big. it's not the biggest that
president obama has ever raised. back in september of 2008 -- remember this is by the way obama plus the dnc plus all the various committees that they fund raise through. and so back in september 2008 they got up to about 190 million. but this is sort of the overlooked part of this election. remember when jim mathena and all the obama folks were saying over and over they were going to get outspent, they were going to be horribly outadvertised? that's not the case. around the country we're seeing that though president obama is being outspent on television advertising because of federal communications commission rules he's actually being able to run more advertisements because the rate that he pays is cheaper than the rate these outside groups pay. he is outspending mitt romney significantly on the air. and by the way, he's outspending romney significantly on the ground in terms of the number of offices, number of staff members, et cetera, et cetera. so a big month that sort of reinforces the fact that it's really good to be the incumbent. >> okay. hotline reid wilson. good to see you.
thanks so much. >> thanks a lot, alex. tonight governor mitt romney will hold a campaign rally just outside of orlando, florida. nbc's garrett hake, what is the campaign saying about this jobs report? >> reporter: good afternoon, alex. the campaign continues to basically just nibble around the edges of this jobs report. yesterday we had governor romney pointing out that workforce participation has gone down, saying that fewer people are even looking for work. that's part of why the report has changed. also his advisers reporting that last night that a significant portion of this gain in the or decline in the unemployment rate has to do with folks who are taking part-time jobs. these aren't new career, the big kind of robust job creation the romney campaign says is necessary. their strategy has been to sort of kick things back towards the debate, focus on a point governor romney made during the debate to say that president obama doesn't really have a plan to encourage broad-based job creation. this is governor romney last night here in florida.
>> he got a chance to explain his jobs program, how he's going to create new jobs in america. did you hear what he had to say? i didn't, either. . i kept looking for a specific plan as to what he was going to do to create jobs. i heard more of the same. stimulus, hiring more government workers, raising taxes. those things don't create jobs, they cost jobs. >> reporter: alex, that's base you cannily what we're expecting to hear again tonight this, idea that one report is great but it's not the same thing as a strategy. we expect governor romney to continue to hammer that point this evening. >> i got to say i want to give him props for his comedic timing there. quickly there the conspiracy theories, publicly mr. romney, he's staying above the fray. but what are they saying? are you hearing anything privately about this? >> reporter: the campaign strategy when it comes to the conspiracy theories is to say we're going to deal with the numbers as they exist. they have not gone out of their way to knock it down or stand by
the numbers. there seems to be a belief that if elements of the base want to continue to hold onto that conspiracy theory, that may be something that strengthens them to have people fired up. as you can see we're getting a little bit of the preparations going on around us. >> thank you so much. we'll let you go now. appreciate it. california drivers waking up to gas prices at an all-time high. the average price statewide is now $4.61, up 80 cents above the national average. abc's diana alvear, how much did the prices climb while you were sleeping overnight? >> reporter: alex, good day, good morning. this is tough. i am dreading filling up my tank. aaa is reporting the average price per gal rose 12 cents overnight. it's now $4.61. the same as the average all-time high set in this state in june of 2008.
and get this. some stations are charging more than $5 per gal. now if you don't live in california you are in luck but you're still going to have to pay. the national average is now $3.81. and that has everyone feeling major pain at the pump. >> when i was pulling in, my little gas tank light went on. as i was pulling in i thought it was going to cost a lot. i had no idea it would cost this much. >> i can't fill it up because they have $100 restriction on most gas pumps. >> it's outrageous. it used to be under a dollar back in the 80s. now it's close to $5. >> reporter: now, if you're wondering why such sky-high prices in california, there are several factors. there was a brief power outage at a local refinery earlier this week, and gas inventories are at their lowest points in this state in more than ten years. now, there is some good news. this is the time of year when
prices begin to fall. and of course, californians are hoping it happens sooner than later. alex? >> i can about imagine that or get out your bikes. nbc's diana alvear, thanks for the live report. she wanted to be president and now voters may vote her out of congress. up next the candidate who could put michele bachmann out of a job. do celebrity endorsements really influence voters? you're watching "weekends with alex witt." you.
ads in nine key states as the gop challenger mitt romney. the obama campaign has run 233,000 ads in those states compared to -- i know your paper is still conducting its latest poll there in the key stoet states. but you published a poll in september. that poll showed president obama ahead of mitt romney by 11 points at that point, 50 to 39. all those obama tv ads may have had a big impact. what are the changes you expect in your next poll? >> well, after the debate performance i'd expect that romney is going to get another look at pennsylvania voters. so we'll probably see maybe a little bump for him, or some weak obama supporters might may move to undecided. it's sort of a reassessment maybe. and also interestingly, the obama folks have not been
advertising in pennsylvania since about the end of august. they hadn't felt the need. >> you know, but a lot of people political analysts are going to say that your state is largely out of reach for mitt romney. what do you say to that? >> i'd say yeah, it's aup hill climb. it trends democratic. however, there are scenarios in which he could win if he is able to -- it usually comes down to the philadelphia suburbs, moderate voters on social issues. there's a big gender gap he would have to close the gender gap somewhat. but it's not over. and they still could play here. >> yeah. how important do you think the vice-presidential debate on thursday night will be? >> i don't think anybody ever votes for number two. but it would probably be just one more factor in the mix. as other people have said,
usually the economy in the broader issues are going to have more effect. and as you mentioned, in the top here, the ads can really drive the message home more than these debates are probably reinforced what's already going on or sort of provide a window for people to take another look. >> yeah. you know, i agree with you that people don't vote the number two spot on the ticket, but it can be a disqualifier, don't you think? i mean, if one side does not do well? it sort of negates any positive effect. >> sure. it wasn't just the debates four years ago, but sarah palin's performance overall probably really did have a negative impact on john mccain. i mean, that's pretty clear. so yeah, sure, it's not without risk or without meaning. and then there's already been some evidence in polling that paul ryan has hurt mitt romney a
little bit because of his association with the medicare voucher program that he's proposed. and they've even had to back away from that. that can't help in pennsylvania, either, which i believe is the third oldest state after florida and west virginia. >> all right. well, that certainly makes sense. philadelphia enquirer's thomas fitzgerald. thanks so much. good to talk with you. >> thanks, alex. representative michele bachmann lost the gop primary but this week she picked up a major endorsement from -- speaking in a radio interview afterwards she laid out the focus of her campaign. >> this is the number one issue this year is the economy, job creation, how we can add more jobs and higher-paying jobs. i worked extremely hard in congress. you're right. i'm a former federal tax lawyer and a business owner. i get how jobs are created but i also understand how they're destroyed. >> joining me now is her competitor, jim graves, the
democratic nominee for minnesota's sixth congressional district. jim, thank you for joining me. >> thank you for having me on. appreciate it. >> you had no political experience, jim, until you began your campaign. i'm sure your constituents want to hear what makes you qualified to serve in congress? >> i'm a business guy. i've created a lot of jobs. i understand the economy, budgets, how to get things done. obviously michele bachmann doesn't. so i'm prepared to go to congress and get things done, bring people together, make this economy work again and she doesn't. >> you just heard the congresswoman, though. how does your plan for the economy differentiate from hers? >> first and foremost we're not going to lower the minimum wage. that doesn't help anybody. what we need is good wage jobs. she's pledged to go to norquist and coke brothers. i'm pledging myself to the people of the sixth district. i know how to get a budget done. we need to be bipartisan about that, come together and talk
reality. real solutions for the real problems. create good livable-wage jobs. i've created thousands of jobs my whole life. she hasn't created one job in the district, one net job in the six years she's been in congress. not one. >> jim, a recent article in your local star tribune quoted several supporters of representative bachmann who heard you speak. they liked you. they're wondering right here the quote is "why aren't you a republican? you're a wealthy businessman. you're a libertarian leaning free market advocate. why are you running as a democrat? >> first of all, the republican party has been taken by the far right, people like michele bachmann have taken the party way off to the fringe. what we need to do is find people who are centrist, who understand business, bring people together, know how to build jobs and living wage jobs and the demand. democrats get it better than she does. she's way off. i'm running for the people in
the middle. i'm running for the centrists, the people that are on the ground that need jobs that need to get this economy going in the sixth district back on track. >> she did say she believes the economy is the number one issue heading into this election and you'll probably agree with her. it's american voters's biggest concern this year. we're watching social issues leading. so headlines recently. what role do you think they're ultimately going to play in this race? >> the people of the sixth district where i represent the people, they're pretty libertarian. they understand the difference of separation of church and state. they understand what we really need to do is get this country back on track and that's the economy. if we really want to be pro-family you want to give people livable-wage jobs so they can support their families, pay for their houses, have access to good health care and education. that's what the people want. they don't want to hear about all the fringe issues. they want to talk about reality. that's what i'm doing right now. she doesn't quite frankly. >> jim, you just released an internal poll. it found you were trailing the congresswoman by just two points. i should mention her campaign
has not released any of their own polls for us to compare with. but do you have the name recognition and the time to make up that two-point difference by election day? >> definitely, alex. we have gone from the 20% recognition up to now just under 60%. and as we've done that, we've got a 15% advantage in independent vote. that's where this election is going to take place, on that independent vote. so as we move forward people become nan with our standard, what we are going to do in congress. then they're coming in our direction completely. so we definitely will get that job. of course jimgraves.com. people are going on our web page all the time, checking us out and finding out they like us a lot. >> jim, it was reported you met with the district's independent party to dissuade them from running a candidate this year. what do you think your campaign would be had there been a third-party candidate? >> all the third-party people, tom horner was a gubernatorial candidate probably the most notorious leader in that up
party, he's backing me because he understands i understand how to get this thing going on. those people are coming in my direction as they learn who i am and what i stand for. it's going to make a big difference. this is the first time michele bachmann is one-on-one against one candidate and nobody else to spoil this thing. it will be michele bachmann against jim graves and we look really good against michele bachmann. >> any chance you're going to have a debate in the next few weeks? >> we hope so. we've got one scheduled for october 30th. if she had her way she'd have the debate after the election because she doesn't want the truth to be told. she doesn't want to stand up and debate with me. she knows i understand the economy. i've created jobs. i'm a real business guy. and i've got it. she's been gone 90% of the time. people see that she's making pledges to jim norquist and the coke brothers. i'm making pledges to get people back to work. >> jim graves we appreciate your time. we want all of you to know we invited michele bachmann to respond to jim graves' comments but she was unavailable.
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now to our three big money headlines. wall street rally, holiday hiring, and what's going on with american airlines? joining me now a retail and economic analyst. i'm glad to have you here. there's something fun to talk about. wall street's highest close in years. >> in five years, actually. hit 13,600, around there. it's been on the up and up from thursday or friday it went up 35 points. and a lot of people are saying it had to do with those unemployment numbers. being at 7%. there are also other reasons why. i also wanted to mention the blue chip stocks as well. these are the blue chip index stocks they cover like heinz, general motors. stocks that have been doing well for awhile. that index was also up around 69 points. >> that's good. okay. what about the holiday hiring?
because tis the season to do so. how's that look? >> can you believe holidays are right around the corner? >> no. >> 86 degrees outside right now. holiday is on the mind. there's going to be about 300,000. so 300,000 jobs being added through seasonal hires. these are all by major retailers like walmart, big stop, kohl's. target is adding 80 to 90,000 jobs. >> really? >> just for seasonal hires. >> just for target. >> right. the national retail federation is expecting retail sales to be about $586 billion for this season. >> good numbers you're talking about there. nothing good right now about american airlines. it seems like everything is not going their way. the latest having these seats and people strapped in their seats going whoa! >> i have one word for you there and it's gunk. really what's going on, american airlines spokesperson said the reason why these seats were
falling backwards -- they were cancelling flights because these seats kept falling backwards. they couldn't seem to get a handle on those seats. they blame the gunk that was between these seats. that means spilled drink in between the seats. >> come on. >> but an insider was saying it really had to do with obvious lit mechanism and the way the seats were arranged and sort of put together. they are trying to fix that problem. >> since we have so much conspiracy theory stuff going on, it happened right around the time the pilots are having their talks and their problems. any relation there? >> alex all i have to tell you, whatever you do you drop a pen in between those seats, don't put your hand down there. i don't want you to risk getting anything on that. >> appreciate that. still ahead other signs that indicate the economy really be on the upswing and put even more people back to work. you're watching "weekends with alex witt." [ mother ] you can't leave the table
unemployment rate is now at its lowest level since i took office. more americans are entering the workforce. more americans are getting jobs. but too many of our friends and neighbors are still looking for work or struggling to pay the bills. many of them since long before this crisis hit. we owe it to them to keep moving forward. we've come too far to turn back now. we've made too much progress to return to the policies that got us into this mess in the first place. >> well, joining me now rick new man, chief business correspondent for "u.s. news and world report" and author of "rebounders, how winners pivot from setback to success." welcome. >> hi, alex. >> you've been busy. numbers first of all, unemployment rate has come down to 7.8%. non-farm pay roles up 114%. total employment up 873,000. your read on all this. >> one of the weirdest job reports we've seen in a long time. >> how come? >> two survey that is go into
this report. they are totally divergent at this point. in the future these numbers get refind and they're probably going to come back together when they say we undercounted or overcounted. basically we've got one of the surveys said the economy added only 114,000 jobs. that's very low. and the other said it added more than 800,000 jobs, which is very high. they can't both be right. the one that is -- determines the unemployment rate is that super high number more than 800,000. my guess is that's going to be revised way lower in the future. but in the meanwhile it's a gift to president obama. because for the next month he gets to say the unemployment rate has come down all the way under 8% to 7.8%. >> do you think what you just said about this report being weird, is that what has contributed to the conspiracy theorists? you heard jack welch talking, arguing with chris matthews on "hardball" he said twice it defies logic. it defies logic. is that because these two are so far apart? >> it does not defy logic.
nobody pays much attention to the details of these reports when it's not an election year or one month before the election. this sort of thing does happen from time to time. economists know this. and they say this is not really that unusual. it is really silly and it's almost outlandish to think that the several dozen staff people who are career people, not political appointees at the bureau of labor statistics somehow polluted or had a conspiracy to cook numbers. my guess is we are going to get one more jobs rot before the november election, november 2nd four days before the election. my guess is that one is going to fix some of the anomalies in this report. and the unemployment rate could very well go back up above 8% in that report. because again, something's a little bit off about these numbers. but these are going to get smoothed out over time. oftentimes it takes a couple months before they recount, go over it. >> but you've been writing that the economy seems to be going president obama's way and the question is can mitt romney win without it turning his. if four or five days before the
election we get that report that says it's gone from 7.8 ticking backup wards, what does that do? to tuesday following? >> that is going to be really interesting. if there are going to be any questions about are the numbers legitimate it will be about that report. we are going to get a chance to smooth out the numbers we just got. i think what's happening in the economy overall is that there are a series of small things that almost imperceptible are getting better. this is showing up in consumer confidence surveys. people feel better. it's kind of surprising because we have other data that says things aren't so good. growth is very slow. the job market is very weak. yet people are clearly feeling more confident. part of the reason the housing market clearly seems to have turned around. we're not going to have another boom. but people are no longer watching the value of their home erode that. makes people feel better. people have been paying down debt, improving their own financial situation. the unemployment rate among college graduates is only 4.1%. so a lot of people feel like
things are kind of getting back to normal. >> people are feeling that way. a lot of evidence or anecdotal interpretation of it. is the economy getting better? >> parts of it are and parts of it aren't. we like to talk about the u.s. economy, but it's really many economies. so if you happen to be a constructions worker or sort of a lower-scale manufacturing worker, no, the economy is not getting better for you. it stinks. if you're unemployed it's still very hard to find a job. if you have a job, well, layoffs are at more than a 10-year low so your job security is pretty good. it really depends on who your and where you are. for a lot of people, things are okay right now. >> can you not stay away so long? great discussion. all right. thanks very much. >> thanks for having me, alex. joining me live for more, from the democratic national committee, melanie, welcome. i want to first of all get your reaction to these conspiracy theories. will there be any sort of a formal response to them? >> well, i think what rick new man just said is a consensus
here in washington that any allegations that the bureau of labor statistics would cook the numbers is ridiculous. it's outlandish. but it's not surprising coming from a republican party that has talked about death panels and the birthers in the republican party and a party that's led by a candidate, mitt romney, who stood on stage and said never mind to every position he's campaigned on over the last 18 months. and so it is outlandish. it is ridiculous. but not surprising from this republican party. >> are you all taking a stance that was proffered up earlier by jared bernstein, of course vice president joe biden's former chief economist. he said i don't want any oxygen given to this conversation any longer. >> i don't think it's helpful, certainly the numbers are what they are. and we still have a lot of work to do. we are at a point where we're below 8% unemployment for the
first time in the president's administration. but even he has said there's a lot of work to be done. and we cannot afford to go back to the policies that mitt romney is proposing, the failed economic policies of the past. that's what we should be discussing. we draw a clear distinction between the candidates and we should talk about that. >> i will say the republicans wish and mitt romney for one would wish we would discuss the numbers that were you to include people who gave up working the rate would be closer to 11%, not 7.8%. how do you respond to that? >> well, i'm certainly not an economist. and i'm not familiar with the details of the reasons why those people may have fallen out of the workforce. i do know that many thousands of people have retired, and that's why they're no longer part of the workforce. there are many reasons. again i'm not an economist. what i will say is let's talk about how we're going to move this country forward. mitt romney doesn't want to talk about the details of his plan that's not going to create any
jobs. that's a $5 trillion tax cut on the backs of middle-class families. he doesn't want to talk about that. he's going to continue with his lies about the economy, about the president's record because he doesn't want to talk about his plan which is going to take us back to the same failed economic policies that got us into this mess in the first place. >> all right, melanie from the dnc, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you so much for having me, alex. >> you're going to get a quick check now on what's coming up on msnbc live. what have you got, melissa? >> coming up in the next three hours, a lot of questions about whether the mitt romney americans see day-to-day is the real mitt romney. who better to answer that than the last candidate to lose an election to him. we have michelle ryan who lost to mitt romney in massachusetts back in 2002. >> sounds like that will be a
good interview. thank you very much. next in the big three we're debating and debunking those conspiracy theories about the unemployment numbers. stick around, everyone. you're watching "weekends with alex witt." there are projects. and there are game-changers. those ideas that start with us rolling up our sleeves... ...and end with a new favorite room in the house. and when we can save even more on those kinds of projects... ...with advice to make them even better... ...that's a game-changer in itself. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. right now, hand-scraped hampton bay saratoga hickory laminate is just $1.39 a square foot.
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where did you get that sweater vest? your ford dealer. in the battle for celebrity endorsements, president obama has the edge with leonardo dicaprio, george clooney -- mitt romney has clint eastwood, kid rock and donald trump. does celebrity support really help? apparently not. 89% in the "vanity fair" 60 minutes polls say celebrity endorsements make no difference at all. it is time now for today's big three. in our topics, the 47% revision. the jobs conspiracy. and best week worst week. joining me now molly ball national political reporter for the atlantic. democratic strategist morris reid and republican strategist
susan del persio. the 47% revision. here's what governor romney said in his first interview. >> what would you have said if he did bring it up? >> well, clearly in a campaign with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question and answer sessions, now and then you're going to say something that doesn't come out right. in this case i said something that was completely wrong. i absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown they care about 100%. and that's been demonstrated throughout my life. this whole campaign is about the 100%. when i become president it will be about helping the 100%. >> okay, molly, here comes a two-part question. first part to you, was this going to be his answer had he gotten a chance during the debate to respond to this? you know, he didn't get that chance. the president didn't bring it up. so he had to trot this out in his first post-debate interview? >> i've always been surprised he
didn't repudiate that comment right at the beginning when he had a chance. i think romney really doesn't like to ever seem to be backing down. he wrote a book called "no apologies" so he doesn't want to be seem to be apologizing. it would have been so easy right from the beginning to sort of say oops that came out wrong. i think that's much more palatable than what he had been saying before which think is what he believes but also trying to make people think that's not what he believes. so yeah, he clearly must have been prepared for that to come up in the debate. and as he said in that interview was prepared to just completely finally repudiate that statement. >> sue an, what's your reaction to that theory? >> i think molly's right. it's something he had to get out there. it took two or three interviews to get to this final point. perhaps he was waiting for it at the debate. but this was a much better format for him to address. >> he didn't get to 67 million people with it. >> no, he didn't. but the fact is it didn't come up. so 67 million people didn't have
to hear that being said. so that was to his best. >> do you think the obama camp knew mr. romney would be ready with the 47% answer so they decided we are not going to give him that chance to clear it up with the 67 million people watching? >> i think they were expecting him to prepare for a lot of things that he said. for example my $5 trillion tax increase on the middle class on all those crazy things that he's been running on. as the president said mitt romney had an extreme makeover. but the fact is, where i come from what you say behind closed doors are generally how you feel about people. so when you're on camera it's okay to be that nice guy but when you're behind closed doors talking to your friends that's generally how you feel. we'll give him a chance to talk about this at the next debate when they're talking to real american people and they ask him that question. >> all right. here's topic two of the jobs conspiracy. so listen to this. here's what jack welch, former ceo of g.e. was talking about
when he talked about the tweet that questioned the veracity of the 7.8% jobs number. he was on "hardball" chris matthews. >> do you mean it's a coincidence or you have evidence there was corruption? >> i have no evidence of corruption. none whatsoever. >> so these chicago guys had nothing to do with the numbers? >> i don't know that. >> why did you say that? these chicago guys will do anything to change the numbers. you just said it in your tweet. >> i want to raise the question of these numbers. >> you do raise the question. >> because these numbers defy logic. they defy logic. >> so susan, more people from your party have latched onto this concept. is it embarrassing? is it true? is it ridiculous? >> it's shocking. when i first saw that tweet i thought he was kidding around. then to see him double down on chris matthews was frankly surprising. and i don't think many serious people take that statement seriously. that being said, it's amazing how much flack he's getting when
harry reid made a similar comment about a presidential candidate saying that he had not paid his taxes. so of course i'm referring to governor romney. he said i have absolutely no proof of it but everyone took it as the gospel because it was senator reid saying it. so i think there's a double standard there. [ overlapping speakers ] >> the fact of the matter he's never released his taxes. he had an opportunity to put the real information out there. >> senator reid said he had no proof that this was the case. that's what he said. [ overlapping speakers ] >> i'm saying here's the point. jack welch said he didn't have the resources. he had no proof, either. and i'm saying it's equally irresponsible for him to say it just as it was irresponsible for harry reid to say it. >> one second. morris, i'll get you on. molly, folks from the romney camp, are they publicly staying above the fray on this matter
but privately are they not doing anything to discourage this talk? >> i don't think this makes romney look good at all to have this kind of conspiracy mongering. but one thing that they were doing they were publicly getting behind some of the same things that we were hearing about the polls in weeks. and the problem with that is that now if the polls start to turn in their direction, it makes it that much harder for them, for them having to debunked polls in the past, to embrace polls that make them look good now. it was plainly opportunistic from the start. i think susan makes a good point about harry reid, partisans on both sides go to their bunkers and they just refuse to believe anything that goes against their world view and the bubble they live in where their guy is living. just see no evil and refuse to -- discount the evidence to the contrary. >> this is not an apple-to-apple comparison. the fact is mitt romney could have put that information out there. to talk about this, this is the problem here. you have all this craziness on
the right that mitt romney is not standing up. this is where the president said, he won't stand up to the craziness on the right. he didn't stand up to donald trump with the whole thing about the birthers. he's not standing up to -- >> morris, if you were a republican, morris, would you be standing? what would your reaction be? would you be saying something doesn't pass the smell test here? >> i would do what mccain did when a woman said those bad things about president obama, and he told her she was wrong. you need to stand up for the right thing. it's funny when the numbers work to the advantage of the republicans, everyone's happy with it. but when it doesn't work to their advantage, it's a conspiracy. do the right thing -- >> there's a conspiracy on the other side, morris, come on. >> i'm talking about what you guys are saying right now. i'm not talking about what the on the right or the left right now. jack welsh has done this, donald trump has done this, mitt romney hasn't stood up to anyone on the craziness on his party. that's not showing leadership, susan, you know that. >> i couldn't disagree -- i don't think that jack walsh's
statements, frankly, are so absurd that they don't deserve a response. >> that's how i take it. >> when the numbers don't work -- let me tell you something, when the numbers don't work in your favor, stand up and embrace them, just like when they work in your favor. >> okay. we're going to switch subjects now, aren't y'all relieved? thanks for sticking around. after a break, the big three will be back with their picks for the best and the worst of the week. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus rushes relief to all your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ sighs ] thank you! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth!
we are back with the big three. mally ball, morris reid, and susan del percio. let's get to this week's bests and worsts. molly, i'll begin with you. who are yours? >> my winner for this week is big bird. we've not seen this kind of outpouring of support for a "sesame street" character, i don't know, since the last time he went to a kindergartner's convention. america rallying around big bird as mitt romney says he wants to get rid of him. this has been a talking point of romney's for a while. i think he wants to show he's tough on spending and he'll get rid of stuff that's unnecessary, even if people like it, but this
is just too easy -- >> beating up on big bird? >> no one likes to see you beating up on big bird. this is too easy. my loser for the week, we've been here, jack welsh. apparently it's safe to say that on msnbc. >> he's still a minority, though, he does have the minority. i'm just saying. so i've been going after him too hard. >> okay. but, look, the bigger problem here is that, you know, the problem for the republican isn't some number ticking upward, even if it was some bureaucrat cooking the books. the problem is that people are feeling better about the economy and this number corroborates the optimism we're seeing in polls tick upwards. >> morris, your picks? >> for me, it's the economy, more expansion, more people getting jobs, people feeling good about this economy, feeling good about themselves, that's the winner of the week, the american people, and more jobs going forward. >> right. and the loser is? >> the loser is the obama debate prep team. they did an awful job. i think that they told the president to go in there and play defense and act
presidential and i think that that worked in his disadvantage. >> okay. susan, how about you? >> governor romney. he did a great job this week at the debate. he's certainly the winner. and in spite of morris' statement, it's the person that actually does the debate, and that's president obama, and he's the loser of the week. >> okay. >> all right, you guys. as i like to say, you're all three winners with me. >> i love susan. i'm on record, i love susan! >> morris, we get along. we're good friends. >> guys, thanks so much. that's a wrap-up of "weekends with alex witt." up next, milissa rehberger continuing our coverage right after the break. i'm alex witt. have a great dpap that make moms happy too. with wholesome noodles and bite sized chicken, nothing brings you together like chicken noodle soup from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. like chicken noodle soup from campbell's. why they have a raise your rate cd. tonight our guest, thomas sargent. nobel laureate in economics, and one of the most cited economists in the world.
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